General Question

rebbel's avatar

What makes children to not remember the events and situations from the first three, four years of their life yet they do pick up on, and remember, the things they are taught regarding upbringing?

Asked by rebbel (35472points) August 11th, 2011

My earliest recollection of something was from when I was four years old (about), from the years before that I remember nothing.
But supposedly(obviously) it is important to teach children about good and bad and everything else concerning upbringing.
Why do we remember the one latter not the former?

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10 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

At a guess I would say repetition. most events are a one off deal. Things you are taught get repeated until you get them.

YARNLADY's avatar

Habits are formed that do not require remembering. That is the whole point of early training.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You teach things that they can use at that stage of life and not always for the future.

thorninmud's avatar

It’s a different memory mechanism. Children can’t generally form what are called “explicit” memories until they’re about 3 years old. These are conscious memories that can be described. But they are capable of forming implicit memories. These are things like learned behaviors and procedures and conditioned emotional responses.

These two types of memory involve different brain processes.

ragingloli's avatar

events are fleeting, behavioural expectations are drilled repeatedly into their heads.

Aethelflaed's avatar

The part of the brain that holds those explicit memories hasn’t formed till they’re about 3.

sophiesword's avatar

The cerebrum in the brain is responsible for your memory storage and at that time it’s not fully developed.

Kayak8's avatar

The ability to retain memories and recall them is also impacted by the development of language. Language begins to help create the code that lets you file and locate various memories. For many people, the ability to remember specifics of the time before they had language often works for very graphic memories that involve multiple senses.

The lessons of good and bad, right and wrong, are introduced prior to the advent of language and then are cemented in place by reinforcement over time (including additional reinforcement after the development of language).

shrubbery's avatar

How is that some people can and do remember scenes from before they are ~3? Has that part of their brain just developed earlier? Why do some do that but most don’t?

I know that I have a couple of memories that aren’t really memories- I’ve just been told the story so many times by other people I can picture it as if it’s a memory.

However, there are a couple of short scenes and flashes that no one in my family had ever talked about before but I remember them. I asked my mum why I was in the hospital when I was a baby because I remember the doctor picking me up, sitting me on a bed and using his stethoscope on me. She had never thought to tell me before but I had really bad gastro when I was 18 months old. That’s what it was from. So how come I could remember that?

edit :: I’ll just add that it wasn’t traumatic or scarring or shocking at all. I don’t remember the actual being sick or what they did to me or anything. Just that little bit with the doctor.

shrubbery's avatar

Okay. Awesome. Guess I’ll ask a new question about it then.

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